Shots for Christmas Santa

Georgia Tech men's basketball

With Christmas just around the corner, Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner has a unique request for Santa: Allow his team to make more shots.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets shot a dismal 32 percent from the floor which ultimately led to a disappointing 70-59 loss to their most hated rival Georgia Bulldogs at McCamish Pavilion on Saturday.

Michael Devoe led all scorers with 14 points and 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. He was the most efficient for Tech. James Banks III added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The leader and captain of the team Jose Alvarado finished the game with 11 points but shot a miserable 3-for-20 from the floor that included a 0-for-6 performance behind the arc. Overall, the Yellow Jackets’ offense struggled mightily.

“We just struggled to score a little bit,” Pastner said. “We missed some of those layups. We had some open threes, and when you’re struggling to score, every layup or three that you miss mounts pressure because we don’t have the one guy who can break you down and get you a bucket when you need one. And again, I’ve said it from the beginning I really believe in our team’s shooting ability even though we haven’t shot the ball well this year at this point.”

 Nicolas Claxton had team-high 13 points and hit a dagger three-pointer with 2:32 remaining in the second half to give the Bulldogs a nine-point lead (56-47).  Claxton also had a game-high 13 rebounds.

“He’s a shot maker, and that three was a huge three,” head coach Tom Crean said.

Tech had many opportunities down the stretch but could not score consistently enough after their most significant scoring run of nine points with 18:35 on the clock in the second half. Many other contributing factors led to Tech (6-5) losing to Georgia (7-4) for the fourth-straight time in this rivalry – but scoring was the most glaring issue.

Alvarado’s shooting woes hinder the Jackets

Coach Pastner took some of the blame for not sitting Alvarado during his rough shooting stretch. It cost them a game they could have very well won.

“He tries to do it all himself,” Pastner said. “I probably should have pulled him out a little bit to give him a little rest, because he’s had a long week. But because it’s possession by possession and he is one of our best scorers, but when you’re not able to score, you’re going to roll with the guy that you roll with for the most part, and maybe it backfired a little bit today on us.”

Tech was coming off an impressive road win against Arkansas, and Alvarado had a game-high 20 points. As a smaller guard, Alvarado had a tough time finishing at the rim against a long Georgia team.

Georgia Tech is back at the McCamish Pavilion Dec. 28 against a struggling Kennesaw State.

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